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Russia to introduce genotype based technology for selecting astronauts in 2020-2021

The requirements for the level of health of astronauts may gradually change, according to the Russia’s Federal Biomedical Agency

MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. A new technology for selecting future astronauts depending on their genetic radiation sensitivity is planned for introduction in 2020-2021, head of Russia’s Federal Biomedical Agency Vladimir Uyba told TASS.

"We have developed a technology for the selection of radiation resistant and radiosensitive individuals. Its introduction is planned for 2020-2021. The technology can be used to select teams working in conditions of radiation risks, including astronauts," Uyba said in an interview with the portal "Russia's Future. National Projects", operated by TASS.

The requirements for the level of health of astronauts may gradually change, Uyba noted.

"Before humans begin active exploration into deep space, it is necessary to assess genetic risks for future generations. We are planning special studies. Now, the meticulous work is underway to review instructions that determine the required level of health and necessary medical examinations," Uyba said.

According to him, the Federal Biomedical Agency has already conducted several large experiments and developed methods to adapt humans for long-distance space flights. The model of adaptation in space takes into account the characteristics and personal capabilities of the human body. "For example, different people can have different resistance to radiation, and it is very important in space, especially if we speak about deep space flights. We determine just the sensitivity to radiation in humans and we can select astronauts specifically for deep space flights, given this peculiarity of their bodies," he explained.